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Spring or Winter - Great Weather for Bird Watching

Whether Spring or Winter, for passionate year round bird watching enthusiasts, amateur ornithologists or just someone who loves birding in secluded riparian areas, New Mexico Cabin Rentals is one of many birding destinations with much to offer!  (see Bird Watching Check List on Double E Ranch). Southwest New Mexico has a well-deserved reputation for birding.  

5000' elevation and situated along the southwestern edge of the Gila National Forest, your first birding stop is just outside your cabin door!  Explore our 360 acre private birding area along Bear Creek where 250 different indigenous and migratory species have been found at different times throughout the year.  At New Mexico Cabin Rentals and the nearby Gila National Forest region, the vegetation is extremely diverse.  Ranging from desert scrub and grassland in the Burro Mountains to 7000' woodland juniper, Douglas fir and ponderosa, deep canyons and small areas of marsh, approximately 339 bird species have been recorded.   

The birding habitat areas listed below are an easy drive from your cabin when you vacation at New Mexico Cabin Rentals at Double E Ranch. For a summary of birding sites in each of these unique habitats, a great resource is the Southwest New Mexico Audubon Society's locales page. 

Things to Bring Along:

  1. • Always carry sunscreen, water, bug repellant, a blanket, a hat and shovel.  Bring along a first aid kit, small tool kit and spare tire in your car.
    • Top off the gas in your car.
    • Make sure the season is correct for the birding you want to do.
    • Make reservations in advance, when required.
    • Do not enter private property without the owner’s permission.
  2. Pay attention the weather in every season!  The summer thunderstorms, sudden spring winds and winter snowstorms can happen. Drink plenty of water, wear a hat and use sunscreen.
  3. Safety:
    • New Mexico’s altitude is high and dry.  You may experience shortness of breath or other symptoms of altitude acclimation.
    • Black bears and mountain lions are fairly common, however, it is unlikely that you will encounter them. If you do come in contact with them, use common sense.  Suggestions: do not run, stand upright, wave your arms in the air slowly and back away slowly. It is not recommended you touch or feed any animals while birding.

Here is a sampling of some of the more popular bird watching areas near New Mexico Cabin Rentals at Double E Ranch:

Riparian Areas:

  • Gila River Bird Habitat Area:  The Gila River is New Mexico's last wild river.  Excellent riparian birding may be found among the riparian woods and hillside scrub along the Gila River. The Bird Area is located north of Silver City on US 180, near Cliff, on the Bill Evans Lake Road. Follow the paved road past the Lake turning and continue onto the dirt section 1.5 miles.  New Mexico is a major migration route and winter range for sandhill cranes. The greater sandhill crane (G. c. tabida), largest of the subspecies, nests in the Rocky Mountain region (RMP). They winter along the Middle Rio Grande Valley from Albuquerque to Bosque del Apache NationalWildlife Refuge (NWR) and in the riparian area along the Gila River in southwest New Mexico near the villages of Gila and Cliff. 
  • Bear Creek Riarian Area at the Double E Ranch: Bear Creek has its headwaters in Pinos Altos, NM, just north of Silver City.  It meanders through nearly 2 miles of our private  riparian area and is home to hundreds of migratory and indigenous birds. Giant cottonwood and sycamore trees, piñon, juniper and live oak trees provide the perfect habitat! Good riparian birding can be found among the riparian woods and hillside scrub that follows Bear Creek before it empties into the Gila River, the largest river in New Mexico.  This riparian area is located a short walk from your cabin.
  • Cherry Creek and McMillan Campgrounds: Superb birding is found in the deciduous and coniferous riparian woodland nestled in ponderosa pine forest. Cherry Creek and McMillan are located on NM 15 approx. 15 miles north of Silver City.
  • Fort Bayard Historic District: Various habitats of riparian, oak, pinon-juniper, ponderosa pine woodland and grassland areas provide diverse habitats for many bird species. From Silver City, follow US 180 south to the small town of Santa Clara and turn onto the Fort Bayard Medical Center access road. Pass the hospital complex by taking the right fork. Follow Forest Road 536 to the Fort Bayard Administrative Site Trailhead. Parking is 1/10 mile west of the junction of forest Roads 536 and 929

Best Locations to Bird Watch Near New Mexico Cabin Rentals

Bird Check List at New Mexico Cabin Rentals

Recent Birding Report

Map of Birding Areas in Gila Forest Area

The Weather Network